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Department of Communication Studies


As technology continues to impart its worldview, the role of communication in the navigation of dating in online spaces has also evolved. This study examines the relationship between communication and digital deception within a selected population of Tinder users. Tinder is a geo-social, location-aware dating application that is used by millions of people around the world. There are three fundamentally specific objectives of this research, which include: first, examining the ways in which dating apps increase the possibility of digital deception; second, exploring ways in which Tinder's design and functionality contribute to the occurrence of digital deception; and finally, identifying and examining the impacts of online deception, particularly in the context of dating apps, on human communication and relationship formation. To obtain first-hand perceptions of online representation and digital deception on Tinder (and as with other online social platforms), 51 Tinder users from Nigeria and Canada were surveyed through their responses to a questionnaire distributed on June 20 and July 11, 2023. The findings of this study suggest that the use of dating apps among youths has increased, leading to prevalent lying and distrust. In the context of using Tinder among the sampled population, Tinder's design, functionality, and online communication in general facilitate and contribute to instances of digital deception, as its affordances only give room to do little, hence, there is often an attempt to ‘put best foot forward’ and the tendency of lying becomes imminent. Appearance influences deception, but some still trust online dating for meaningful connections; platforms should promote honesty.